Internet Traffic Surges As People Stay Home

Internet usage has shot up 15 per cent in Bangladesh as people rely on digital life for communication, work & entertainment due to COVID-19.By Muhammad Zahidul Islam, The Daily Star
March 25, 2020

As the spreading coronavirus has largely paralysed public movement and social life, internet usage has shot up 15 per cent in Bangladesh as people are increasingly relying on digital life for communication, work and entertainment to escape the doom and gloom brought on by the novel virus.

Like other parts of the world, more aspects of the daily lives of the people in Bangladesh have moved online. More and more people are working from home as a result of the pandemic.

Many employees of banks, financial institutions, multinationals, private companies and even media outlets are working from home.

People are using more and more internet-based services, watching movies, playing video games and browsing YouTube, pushing up overall internet bandwidth consumption.

Internet traffic has surged soon after the government closed all educational institutions across the country on March 16 in order to limit the spread of lethal, pneumonia-like virus, which has so far sickened 39 and led to the death of four alone in Bangladesh.

Many offices also switched to virtual alternatives to ensure the safety of their staff as well as keep their operations float.

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company (BSCCL), the country’s lone submarine cable company, experienced higher hit on its IIG part.

Both ISPs and mobile operators are taking more bandwidth as their retail demand has increased, said Mashiur Rahman, managing director of the state-owned company.

“On our part, we are observing about 10 per cent bandwidth consumption increase and we have taken all preparation to ensure services even in case of emergency n,” he said.

Bangladesh currently consumes about 1,600 Gbps bandwidth, up from 970 Gbps a year ago and 300 Gbps in 2016.

Of the total, BSCCL alone is supplying about 970 Gbps through its two undersea connections, while six international terrestrial cable operators are importing the rest from India.

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